The fact that the United States is in a huge trade deficit is no secret. We have been struggling with this deficit for a while now, and it seems as if it’s not getting any better. The New York Times reported that we hit a 3-Year High in January at a 52.56 billion dollar deficit. So, for all those companies looking to export, you should remember these four things:
1. Commitment. Just like any business endeavor, you have to make a commitment to exporting. Most international marketing plans will not pay off for three to five years, so be patient. The number one reason for exporting failures is lack of commitment. You will fail if you are only in it for the short haul. Pick your market, make your plan and commit to it!
2. Research. Market research is more difficult to come by in other countries. In the United States, we have a plethora of knowledge available to us on the Internet. The government provides many great resources such as the CIA World Factbook. Finding specific market research can be a struggle because many countries don’t have access to the technology that we do. Their information can be out of date, or sometimes governments report better results because they have pride in their country. Try not to use secondary data because it can give you inaccurate conclusions. Know where your data is coming from and be careful collecting it.
3. Organization. If your company is not organized in its export approach, that goes right back to lack of commitment. Companies struggle a great deal with lack of organization because it makes exporting twice as difficult. There are many factors such as documentation, taxes, terms of payment and transportation that makes exporting complex. Have an export plan and keep yourself organized. It will make your life much easier.
4. Flexibility. Realize that you may export your product and not see the results you were hoping for. Maybe your market research didn’t give you an accurate picture of the market. Just because something does well in the domestic market doesn’t mean it will succeed in the international market. Your product might need some tweaking, but also be flexible with the price and terms of sale.
I hope that domestic companies will seriously consider exporting because it is a nationwide effort to reduce our trade deficit. If you want to learn more, the International Trade Administration’s blog has great information for exporting and trade around the world. So, are you be willing to commit to exporting?